Two late goals send Stratford Town to defeat
MERTHYR took all three points at a damp Loadlok Community Stadium on Tuesday evening with two late goals clinching a 3-1 win after Stratford Town had looked the better side for much of the second half, writes Bryan Hale.
Town were the first to threaten when Ben Stephens’ ninth-minute free-kick was only parried by Merthyr keeper Ollie Davies, with Kyle Patten having to put the loose ball behind as Mike Taylor closed in.
Soon after, the Merthyr dangerman Ian Traylor wasn’t far away from distance, and on 19 minutes inevitably it was Traylor who fired Merthyr ahead.
Curtis McDonald surged down the left to whip in a low cross which Traylor drilled into the bottom corner from 15 yards out.
A couple of minutes later, Merthyr should have doubled their lead when Traylor’s cross from the right reached Eliot Richards, who blazed wastefully over.
Traylor grazed the post with another decent effort on the half-hour mark before Town drew level in the 37th minute.
Lee Thomas charged down the left to reach the byline and deliver a pinpoint cross which was met by a bullet header from ex-Martyr Dan Summerfield at the far post.
Town made a bright start to the second half with Stephens going close from a Loyiso Recci long throw-in and then hitting the bar following a scramble after a corner.
And it was Stephens who had town’s best chance with a quarter of an hour to go when he was picked out by Summerfield’s precision cross but inexplicably headed wide from inside the six-yard box.
Four minutes later Merthyr showed Town how to finish when substitute Kerry Morgan tucked away another Traylor cross from the right and Richards wrapped it all up with a delightful right foot curler which nestled just inside Louis Connor’s left-hand post from 25 yards out.
Stratford Town: Louis Connor, Dan Summerfield, Lee Thomas, Andy Gallinagh, Loyiso Recci, Liam Francis, Eli Bako, James Fry (c), Mike Taylor, Will Grocott, Ben Stephens.
Merthyr Town: Ollie Davies, Adam Davies, Curtis McDonald, Ashley Evans (c), Kyle Patten, Jarrad Wright, Corey Jenkins (Kerry Morgan 57), Jaye Bowen (Mo Touray 68), Stuart Fleetwood, Eliot Richards, Ian Traylor (Robbie Patten 88).